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Consumers can now compare results from home health agencies’ patient surveys

posted May 4, 2012, 2:06 PM by Dicia Kemp   [ updated May 8, 2012, 3:17 PM ]
 

CMS to publicly report on consumer experiences with Medicare-certified home health agencies

Results from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) national survey that asks patients about their experiences with Medicare-certified home health agencies are now available on the agency’s Quality Care Finder (www.medicare.gov/quality-care-finder) website.

CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner today announced the new tool offering prospective patients, their families and caregivers the chance to compare home health agencies by looking at patient survey results. The Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey, which will be updated every four months with new survey data, will complement the clinical measures already available on the agency’s “Home Health Compare” website.
“CMS is doing all it can to help consumers make better, educated choices, and help them find the home health agency that best meets their needs,” Acting Administrator Tavenner said. “The survey is the first national assessment tool for collecting information on patient experience and will enable valid comparisons among all home health agencies.”
The HHCAHPS is a survey that collects feedback on topics that patients have identified as important to them in determining which home health agencies provide high-quality care. For example, the survey asks patients about the care they received from their home health agency, including such topics as overall care; provider communication skills; whether care was provided in a courteous and respectful way; and whether the agency discussed medicines, pain, and home safety.
A prospective patient or caregiver will be able to review and compare feedback from other patients about Medicare-certified home health agencies’ care of patients, communication between providers and patients, as well as the specific care issues identified on the survey. Ratings include an overall rating of home health care and a patient’s willingness to recommend the agency to someone else.
The survey results are designed to create incentives for home health agencies to improve quality of care, as well as to give patients additional information so they are aware of the types of care they will receive from a particular agency. Additionally, public reporting enhances accountability in health care by increasing transparency.
For more information on the survey, visit https://homehealthcahps.org.
To access the survey data, visit the Quality Care Finder tool in Medicare.gov and click on Home Health Compare at http://www.medicare.gov/quality-care-finder/index.html.
 
For this press release and other CMS news, visit: www.cms.gov/apps/media/press_releases.asp

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